Bourgeoisie

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The bourgeoisie ( /ˌbʊərʒwɑːˈz/ ; French:  [buʁʒwazi] ) is a polysemous French term that can mean:

Polysemy is the capacity for a sign to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus distinct from homonymy—or homophony—which is an accidental similarity between two words ; while homonymy is often a mere linguistic coincidence, polysemy is not.

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In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person that promote social mobility in a stratified society. Cultural capital functions as a social-relation within an economy of practices, and comprises all of the material and symbolic goods, without distinction, that society considers rare and worth seeking. As a social relation within a system of exchange, cultural capital includes the accumulated cultural knowledge that confers social status and power.

Financial capital is any economic resource measured in terms of money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or to provide their services to the sector of the economy upon which their operation is based, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc.

Upper middle class sociological concept

In sociology, the upper middle class is the social group constituted by higher status members of the middle class. This is in contrast to the term lower middle class, which is used for the group at the opposite end of the middle-class stratum, and to the broader term middle class. There is considerable debate as to how the upper middle class might be defined. According to sociologist Max Weber the upper middle class consists of well-educated professionals with postgraduate degrees and comfortable incomes.

The "bourgeoisie" in its original sense is intimately linked to the existence of cities recognized as such by their urban charters (e.g. municipal charter, town privileges, German town law), so there was no bourgeoisie "outside the walls of the city" beyond which the people were "peasants" submitted to the stately courts and manorialism (except for the traveling "fair bourgeoisie" living outside urban territories, who retained their city rights and domicile).

A city charter or town charter is a legal document (charter) establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Town privileges features of European towns during most of the second millennium

Town privileges or borough rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium. The city law customary in Central Europe probably dates back to Italian models, which in turn were oriented towards the traditions of the self-administration of Roman cities

German town law

The German town law or German municipal concerns was a set of early town privileges based on the Magdeburg rights developed by Otto I. The Magdeburg Law became the inspiration for regional town charters not only in Germany, but also in Central and Eastern Europe who modified it during the Middle Ages. The German town law was used in the founding of many German cities, towns, and villages beginning in the 13th century.

In Marxist philosophy, the bourgeoisie is the social class that came to own the means of production during modern industrialization and whose societal concerns are the value of property and the preservation of capital to ensure the perpetuation of their economic supremacy in society. [2]

Marxist philosophy Philosophy influenced by Marxist political thought

Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Marxism, which drew out of various sources, and the official philosophy in the Soviet Union, which enforced a rigid reading of Marx called dialectical materialism, in particular during the 1930s. Marxist philosophy is not a strictly defined sub-field of philosophy, because the diverse influence of Marxist theory has extended into fields as varied as aesthetics, ethics, ontology, epistemology, theoretical psychology and philosophy of science, as well as its obvious influence on political philosophy and the philosophy of history. The key characteristics of Marxism in philosophy are its materialism and its commitment to political practice as the end goal of all thought.

In economics and sociology, the means of production are physical and non-financial inputs used in the production of economic value. These include raw materials, facilities, machinery and tools used in the production of goods and services. In the terminology of classical economics, the means of production are the "factors of production" minus financial and human capital.

Property, in the abstract, is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components, whether physical or incorporeal, of a person's estate; or so belonging to, as in being owned by, a person or jointly a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation or even a society. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right to consume, alter, share, redefine, rent, mortgage, pawn, sell, exchange, transfer, give away or destroy it, or to exclude others from doing these things, as well as to perhaps abandon it; whereas regardless of the nature of the property, the owner thereof has the right to properly use it, or at the very least exclusively keep it.

Joseph Schumpeter saw the incorporation of new elements into an expanding bourgeoisie, particularly entrepreneurs who took risks to bring innovation to industries and the economy through the process of creative destruction, as the driving force behind the capitalist engine. [3]

Joseph Schumpeter Austrian economist

Joseph Aloïs Schumpeter was an Austrian political economist. Born in Moravia, he briefly served as Finance Minister of Austria in 1919. In 1932, he became a professor at Harvard University where he remained until the end of his career, eventually obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Creative destruction

Creative destruction, sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale, is a concept in economics which since the 1950s has become most readily identified with the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter who derived it from the work of Karl Marx and popularized it as a theory of economic innovation and the business cycle.

Etymology

The Modern French word bourgeois derived from the Old French burgeis (walled city), which derived from bourg (market town), from the Old Frankish burg (town); in other European languages, the etymologic derivations include the Middle English burgeis, the Middle Dutch burgher, the German Bürger, the Modern English burgess , and the Polish burżuazja, which occasionally is synonymous with the "intelligentsia". [4] In its literal sense, bourgeois in Old French (burgeis, borjois) means "town dweller".

Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.

Market town legal term for European settlement that has the right to host markets

Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the Middle Ages, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city. On the European continent, a town may be correctly described as a "market town" or as having "market rights", even if it no longer holds a market, provided the legal right to do so still exists.

Middle English Stage of the English language from about the 12th through 15th centuries

Middle English was a form of the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. English underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from 1150 to 1500. This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages.

In English, the word "bourgeoisie" (a French citizen-class) identified[ when? ] a social class oriented to economic materialism and hedonism, and to upholding the extreme political and economic interests of the capitalist ruling-class. [5] In the 18th century, before the French Revolution (1789–99), in the French feudal order, the masculine and feminine terms bourgeois and bourgeoise identified the rich men and women who were members of the urban and rural Third Estate – the common people of the French realm, who violently deposed the absolute monarchy of the Bourbon King Louis XVI (r. 1774–91), his clergy, and his aristocrats in the French Revolution of 1789-1799. Hence, since the 19th century, the term "bourgeoisie" usually is politically and sociologically synonymous with the ruling upper-class of a capitalist society. [6]

Historically, the medieval French word bourgeois denoted the inhabitants of the bourgs (walled market-towns), the craftsmen, artisans, merchants, and others, who constituted "the bourgeoisie", they were the socio-economic class between the peasants and the landlords, between the workers and the owners of the means of production. As the economic managers of the (raw) materials, the goods, and the services, and thus the capital (money) produced by the feudal economy, the term "bourgeoisie" evolved to also denote the middle class – the businessmen and businesswomen who accumulated, administered, and controlled the capital that made possible the development of the bourgs into cities. [7] [ need quotation to verify ]

Contemporarily, the terms "bourgeoisie" and "bourgeois" (noun) identify the ruling class in capitalist societies, as a social stratum; while "bourgeois" (adjective / noun modifier) describes the Weltanschauung (worldview) of men and women whose way of thinking is socially and culturally determined by their economic materialism and philistinism, a social identity famously mocked in Molière's comedy Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670), which satirises buying the trappings of a noble-birth identity as the means of climbing the social ladder. [8] [9] The 18th century saw a partial rehabilitation of bourgeois values in genres such as the drame bourgeois (bourgeois drama) and "bourgeois tragedy".

History

Origins and rise

The 16th-century German banker Jakob Fugger and his principal accountant, M. Schwarz, registering an entry to a ledger. The background shows a file cabinet indicating the European cities where the Fugger Bank conducts business. (1517) Fuggerkontor.jpg
The 16th-century German banker Jakob Fugger and his principal accountant, M. Schwarz, registering an entry to a ledger. The background shows a file cabinet indicating the European cities where the Fugger Bank conducts business. (1517)

The bourgeoisie emerged as a historical and political phenomenon in the 11th century when the bourgs of Central and Western Europe developed into cities dedicated to commerce. This urban expansion was possible thanks to economic concentration due to the appearance of protective self-organisation into guilds. Guilds arose when individual businessmen (such as craftsmen, artisans and merchants) conflicted with their rent-seeking feudal landlords who demanded greater rents than previously agreed.

In the event, by the end of the Middle Ages (c. AD 1500), under régimes of the early national monarchies of Western Europe, the bourgeoisie acted in self-interest, and politically supported the king or queen against legal and financial disorder caused by the greed of the feudal lords.[ citation needed ] In the late-16th and early 17th centuries, the bourgeoisies of England and the Netherlands had become the financial – thus political – forces that deposed the feudal order; economic power had vanquished military power in the realm of politics. [7]

From progress to reaction

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the bourgeoisie were the politically progressive social class who supported the principles of constitutional government and of natural right, against the Law of Privilege and the claims of rule by divine right that the nobles and prelates had autonomously exercised during the feudal order.

The English Civil War (1642–51), the American War of Independence (1775–83), and French Revolution (1789–99) were partly motivated by the desire of the bourgeoisie to rid themselves of the feudal and royal encroachments on their personal liberty, commercial prospects, and the ownership of property. In the 19th century, the bourgeoisie propounded liberalism, and gained political rights, religious rights, and civil liberties for themselves and the lower social classes; thus the bourgeoisie was a progressive philosophic and political force in Western societies.

After the Industrial Revolution (1750–1850), by the mid-19th century the great expansion of the bourgeoisie social class caused its stratification – by business activity and by economic function – into the haute bourgeoisie (bankers and industrialists) and the petite bourgeoisie (tradesmen and white-collar workers). Moreover, by the end of the 19th century, the capitalists (the original bourgeoisie) had ascended to the upper class, while the developments of technology and technical occupations allowed the rise of working-class men and women to the lower strata of the bourgeoisie; yet the social progress was incidental.

Denotations

Marxist theory

Karl Marx Karl Marx 001.jpg
Karl Marx

According to Karl Marx, the bourgeois during Middle Ages usually was a self-employed businessman – such as a merchant, banker, or entrepreneur – whose economic role in society was being the financial intermediary to the feudal landlord and the peasant who worked the fief, the land of the lord. Yet, by the 18th century, the time of the Industrial Revolution (1750–1850) and of industrial capitalism, the bourgeoisie had become the economic ruling class who owned the means of production (capital and land), and who controlled the means of coercion (armed forces and legal system, police forces and prison system).

In such a society, the bourgeoisie's ownership of the means of production allowed them to employ and exploit the wage-earning working class (urban and rural), people whose only economic means is labour; and the bourgeois control of the means of coercion suppressed the sociopolitical challenges by the lower classes, and so preserved the economic status quo; workers remained workers, and employers remained employers. [10]

In the 19th century, Marx distinguished two types of bourgeois capitalist: (i) the functional capitalists, who are business administrators of the means of production; and (ii) rentier capitalists whose livelihoods derive either from the rent of property or from the interest-income produced by finance capital, or both. [11] In the course of economic relations, the working class and the bourgeoisie continually engage in class struggle, where the capitalists exploit the workers, while the workers resist their economic exploitation, which occurs because the worker owns no means of production, and, to earn a living, he or she seeks employment from the bourgeois capitalist; the worker produces goods and services that are property of the employer, who sells them for a price.

Besides describing the social class who owns the means of production, the Marxist use of the term "bourgeois" also describes the consumerist style of life derived from the ownership of capital and real property. Marx acknowledged the bourgeois industriousness that created wealth, but criticised the moral hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie when they ignored the alleged origins of their wealth: the exploitation of the proletariat, the urban and rural workers. Further sense denotations of "bourgeois" describe ideological concepts such as "bourgeois freedom", which is thought to be opposed to substantive forms of freedom; "bourgeois independence"; "bourgeois personal individuality"; the "bourgeois family"; et cetera, all derived from owning capital and property (see The Communist Manifesto , 1848).

France and French-speaking countries

In English, the term bourgeoisie is often used to denote the middle classes. In fact, the French term encompasses both the upper and middle classes, [12] a misunderstanding which has occurred in other languages as well. The bourgeoisie in France and many French-speaking countries consists of four evolving social layers: petite bourgeoisie, moyenne bourgeoisie, grande bourgeoisie, and haute bourgeoisie.

Petite bourgeoisie

The petite bourgeoisie refers to "a social class that is between the middle class and the lower class: the lower middle class". [13]

Moyenne bourgeoisie

The moyenne bourgeoisie or middle bourgeoisie contains people who have solid incomes and assets, but not the aura of those who have become established at a higher level. They tend to belong to a family that has been bourgeois for three or more generations.[ citation needed ] Some members of this class may have relatives from similar backgrounds, or may even have aristocratic connections. The moyenne bourgeoisie is the equivalent of the British and American upper-middle classes.

Grande bourgeoisie

The grande bourgeoisie are families that have been bourgeois since the 19th century, or for at least four or five generations.[ citation needed ] Members of these families tend to marry with the aristocracy or make other advantageous marriages. This bourgeois family has acquired an established historical and cultural heritage over the decades. The names of these families are generally known in the city where they reside, and their ancestors have often contributed to the region's history. These families are respected and revered. They belong to the upper class, and in the British class system are considered part of the gentry. In the French-speaking countries, they are sometimes referred la petite haute bourgeoisie.[ citation needed ]

Haute bourgeoisie

The haute bourgeoisie is a social rank in the bourgeoisie that can only be acquired through time. In France, it is composed of bourgeois families that have existed since the French Revolution.[ citation needed ] They hold only honourable professions and have experienced many illustrious marriages in their family's history. They have rich cultural and historical heritages, and their financial means are more than secure.

These families exude an aura of nobility, which prevents them from certain marriages or occupations. They only differ from nobility in that due to circumstances, the lack of opportunity, and/or political regime, they have not been ennobled. These people nevertheless live a lavish lifestyle, enjoying the company of the great artists of the time. In France, the families of the haute bourgeoisie are also referred to as les 200 familles, a term coined in the first half of the 20th century. Michel Pinçon and Monique Pinçon-Charlot studied the lifestyle of the French bourgeoisie, and how they boldly guard their world from the nouveau riche, or newly rich.

In the French language, the term bourgeoisie almost designates a caste by itself, even though social mobility into this socio-economic group is possible. Nevertheless, the bourgeoisie is differentiated from la classe moyenne, or the middle class, which consists mostly of white-collar employees, by holding a profession referred to as a profession libérale, which la classe moyenne, in its definition does not hold.[ citation needed ] Yet, in English the definition of a white-collar job encompasses the profession libérale.

Nazism

Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, but supported the "class struggle between nations", and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletariat nation fighting against plutocratic nations. [14]

The Nazi Party had many working-class supporters and members, and a strong appeal to the middle class. The financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s figures much in their strong support of Nazism. [15] In the poor country that was the Weimar Republic of the early 1930s, the Nazi Party realised their socialist policies with food and shelter for the unemployed and the homeless—who were later recruited into the Brownshirt Sturmabteilung (SA – Storm Detachments). [15]

Hitler was impressed by the populist antisemitism and the anti-liberal bourgeois agitation of Karl Lueger, who as the mayor of Vienna during Hitler's time in the city used a rabble-rousing style of oratory that appealed to the wider masses. [16] When asked whether he supported the "bourgeois right-wing", Adolf Hitler claimed that Nazism was not exclusively for any class, and he also indicated that it favoured neither the left nor the right, but preserved "pure" elements from both "camps", stating: "From the camp of bourgeois tradition, it takes national resolve, and from the materialism of the Marxist dogma, living, creative Socialism". [17]

Hitler distrusted capitalism for being unreliable due to its egotism, and he preferred a state-directed economy that is subordinated to the interests of the Volk . [18]

Hitler told a party leader in 1934, "The economic system of our day is the creation of the Jews". [18] Hitler said to Benito Mussolini that capitalism had "run its course". [18] Hitler also said that the business bourgeoisie "know nothing except their profit. 'Fatherland' is only a word for them." [19] Hitler was personally disgusted with the ruling bourgeois elites of Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic, who he referred to as "cowardly shits". [20]

Modern history

Because of their ascribed cultural excellence as a social class, the Italian fascist régime (1922–45) of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini regarded the bourgeoisie as an obstacle to Modernism. [21] Nonetheless, the Fascist State ideologically exploited the Italian bourgeoisie and their materialistic, middle-class spirit, for the more efficient cultural manipulation of the upper (aristocratic) and the lower (working) classes of Italy.

In 1938, Prime Minister Mussolini gave a speech wherein he established a clear ideological distinction between capitalism (the social function of the bourgeoisie) and the bourgeoisie (as a social class), whom he dehumanised by reducing them into high-level abstractions: a moral category and a state of mind. [21] Culturally and philosophically, Mussolini isolated the bourgeoisie from Italian society by portraying them as social parasites upon the fascist Italian state and "The People"; as a social class who drained the human potential of Italian society, in general, and of the working class, in particular; as exploiters who victimised the Italian nation with an approach to life characterised by hedonism and materialism. [21] Nevertheless, despite the slogan The Fascist Man Disdains the ″Comfortable″ Life, which epitomised the anti-bourgeois principle, in its final years of power, for mutual benefit and profit, the Mussolini fascist régime transcended ideology to merge the political and financial interests of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini with the political and financial interests of the bourgeoisie, the Catholic social circles who constituted the ruling class of Italy.

Philosophically, as a materialist creature, the bourgeois man was stereotyped as irreligious; thus, to establish an existential distinction between the supernatural faith of the Roman Catholic Church and the materialist faith of temporal religion; in The Autarchy of Culture: Intellectuals and Fascism in the 1930s, the priest Giuseppe Marino said that:

Christianity is essentially anti-bourgeois. ... A Christian, a true Christian, and thus a Catholic, is the opposite of a bourgeois. [22]

Culturally, the bourgeois man may be considered effeminate, infantile, or acting in a pretentious manner; describing his philistinism in Bonifica antiborghese (1939), Roberto Paravese comments on the:

Middle class, middle man, incapable of great virtue or great vice: and there would be nothing wrong with that, if only he would be willing to remain as such; but, when his child-like or feminine tendency to camouflage pushes him to dream of grandeur, honours, and thus riches, which he cannot achieve honestly with his own "second-rate" powers, then the average man compensates with cunning, schemes, and mischief; he kicks out ethics, and becomes a bourgeois.

The bourgeois is the average man who does not accept to remain such, and who, lacking the strength sufficient for the conquest of essential values—those of the spirit—opts for material ones, for appearances. [23]

The economic security, financial freedom, and social mobility of the bourgeoisie threatened the philosophic integrity of Italian fascism, the ideological monolith that was the régime of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. Any assumption of legitimate political power (government and rule) by the bourgeoisie represented a fascist loss of totalitarian state power for social control through political unity—one people, one nation, and one leader. Sociologically, to the fascist man, to become a bourgeois was a character flaw inherent to the masculine mystique; therefore, the ideology of Italian fascism scornfully defined the bourgeois man as "spiritually castrated". [23]

Bourgeois culture

Cultural hegemony

Karl Marx said that the culture of a society is dominated by the mores of the ruling-class, wherein their superimposed value system is abided by each social class (the upper, the middle, the lower) regardless of the socio-economic results it yields to them. In that sense, contemporary societies are bourgeois to the degree that they practice the mores of the small-business "shop culture" of early modern France; which the writer Émile Zola (1840–1902) naturalistically presented, analysed, and ridiculed in the twenty-two-novel series (1871–1893) about Les Rougon-Macquart family; the thematic thrust is the necessity for social progress, by subordinating the economic sphere to the social sphere of life. [24]

Conspicuous consumption

Clothing worn by ladies belonging to the bourgeoisie of Zywiec, Poland, 19th century (collection of the Zywiec City Museum) Zywiecki stroj mieszczanski 01.jpg
Clothing worn by ladies belonging to the bourgeoisie of Żywiec, Poland, 19th century (collection of the Żywiec City Museum)

The critical analyses of the bourgeois mentality by the German intellectual Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) indicated that the shop culture of the petite bourgeoisie established the sitting room as the centre of personal and family life; as such, the English bourgeois culture is, he alleges, a sitting-room culture of prestige through conspicuous consumption. The material culture of the bourgeoisie concentrated on mass-produced luxury goods of high quality; between generations, the only variance was the materials with which the goods were manufactured.

In the early part of the 19th century, the bourgeois house contained a home that first was stocked and decorated with hand-painted porcelain, machine-printed cotton fabrics, machine-printed wallpaper, and Sheffield steel (crucible and stainless). The utility of these things was inherent to their practical functions. By the latter part of the 19th century, the bourgeois house contained a home that had been remodelled by conspicuous consumption. Here, Benjamin argues, the goods were bought to display wealth (discretionary income), rather than for their practical utility. The bourgeoisie had transposed the wares of the shop window to the sitting room, where the clutter of display signalled bourgeois success. [25] (See: Culture and Anarchy , 1869.)

Two spatial constructs manifest the bourgeois mentality: (i) the shop-window display, and (ii) the sitting room. In English, the term "sitting-room culture" is synonymous for "bourgeois mentality", a "philistine" cultural perspective from the Victorian Era (1837–1901), especially characterised by the repression of emotion and of sexual desire; and by the construction of a regulated social-space where "propriety" is the key personality trait desired in men and women. [25]

Nonetheless, from such a psychologically constricted worldview, regarding the rearing of children, contemporary sociologists claim to have identified "progressive" middle-class values, such as respect for non-conformity, self-direction, autonomy, gender equality and the encouragement of innovation; as in the Victorian Era, the transposition to the US of the bourgeois system of social values has been identified as a requisite for employment success in the professions. [26] [27]

The prototypical bourgeois, Monsieur Jourdain, the protagonist in Moliere's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670) Le-bourgeois-gentilhomme.jpg
The prototypical bourgeois, Monsieur Jourdain, the protagonist in Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670)

Bourgeois values are dependent on rationalism, which began with the economic sphere and moves into every sphere of life which is formulated by Max Weber. [28] The beginning of rationalism is commonly called the Age of Reason. Much like the Marxist critics of that period, Weber was concerned with the growing ability of large corporations and nations to increase their power and reach throughout the world.

Representations

Beyond the intellectual realms of political economy, history, and political science that discuss, describe, and analyse the bourgeoisie as a social class, the colloquial usage of the sociological terms bourgeois and bourgeoise describe the social stereotypes of the old money and of the nouveau riche , who is a politically timid conformist satisfied with a wealthy, consumerist style of life characterised by conspicuous consumption and the continual striving for prestige. [29] [30] This being the case, the cultures of the world describe the philistinism of the middle-class personality, produced by the excessively rich life of the bourgeoisie, is examined and analysed in comedic and dramatic plays, novels, and films. (See: Authenticity.)

The 17th-century French playwright Moliere (1622-73) catalogued the social-climbing essence of the bourgeoisie in Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670) Moliere - Nicolas Mignard (1658).jpg
The 17th-century French playwright Molière (1622–73) catalogued the social-climbing essence of the bourgeoisie in Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670)

Theatre

Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (The Would-be Gentleman, 1670) by Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin), is a comedy-ballet that satirises Monsieur Jourdain, the prototypical nouveau riche man who buys his way up the social-class scale, to realise his aspirations of becoming a gentleman, to which end he studies dancing, fencing, and philosophy, the trappings and accomplishments of a gentleman, to be able to pose as a man of noble birth, someone who, in 17th-century France, was a man to the manner born; Jourdain's self-transformation also requires managing the private life of his daughter, so that her marriage can also assist his social ascent. [9] [31]

Literature

Thomas Mann (1875-1955) portrayed the moral, intellectual, and physical decadence of the German upper bourgeoisie in the novel Buddenbrooks (1926) Thomas Mann in 1926.jpg
Thomas Mann (1875–1955) portrayed the moral, intellectual, and physical decadence of the German upper bourgeoisie in the novel Buddenbrooks (1926)

Buddenbrooks (1901), by Thomas Mann (1875–1955), chronicles the moral, intellectual, and physical decay of a rich family through its declines, material and spiritual, in the course of four generations, beginning with the patriarch Johann Buddenbrook Sr. and his son, Johann Buddenbrook Jr., who are typically successful German businessmen; each is a reasonable man of solid character.

Yet, in the children of Buddenbrook Jr., the materially comfortable style of life provided by the dedication to solid, middle-class values elicits decadence: The fickle daughter, Toni, lacks and does not seek a purpose in life; son Christian is honestly decadent, and lives the life of a ne'er-do-well; and the businessman son, Thomas, who assumes command of the Buddenbrook family fortune, occasionally falters from middle-class solidity by being interested in art and philosophy, the impractical life of the mind, which, to the bourgeoisie, is the epitome of social, moral, and material decadence. [32] [33] [34]

Babbitt (1922), by Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951), satirizes the American bourgeois George Follansbee Babbitt, a middle-aged realtor, booster, and joiner in the Midwestern city of Zenith, who – despite being unimaginative, self-important, and hopelessly conformist and middle-class – is aware that there must be more to life than money and the consumption of the best things that money can buy. Nevertheless, he fears being excluded from the mainstream of society more than he does living for himself, by being true to himself – his heart-felt flirtations with independence (dabbling in liberal politics and a love affair with a pretty widow) come to naught because he is existentially afraid.

The Spanish cineast Luis Bunuel (1900-83) depicted the tortuous mentality and self-destructive hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie Luis Bunuel.JPG
The Spanish cinéast Luis Buñuel (1900–83) depicted the tortuous mentality and self-destructive hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie

Yet, George F. Babbitt sublimates his desire for self-respect, and encourages his son to rebel against the conformity that results from bourgeois prosperity, by recommending that he be true to himself:

Don't be scared of the family. No, nor all of Zenith. Nor of yourself, the way I've been. [35]

Films

The comedy films by the Spanish film director Luis Buñuel (1900–1983) examine the mental and moral effects of the bourgeois mentality, its culture, and the stylish way of life it provides for its practitioners.

See also

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"The Doctrine of Fascism" is an essay attributed to Benito Mussolini. In truth, the first part of the essay, entitled "Idee Fondamentali" was written by philosopher Giovanni Gentile, while only the second part is the work of Mussolini himself. It was first published in the Enciclopedia Italiana of 1932, as the first section of a lengthy entry on "Fascismo". The entire entry on Fascism spans pages 847–884 of the Enciclopedia Italiana, and includes numerous photographs and graphic images. The Mussolini entry starts on page 847 and ends on 851 with the credit line "Benito Mussolini." All subsequent translations of "The Doctrine of Fascism" are from this work.

<i>Petite bourgeoisie</i>

Petite bourgeoisie, also petty bourgeoisie, is a French term referring to a social class comprising semi-autonomous peasantry and small-scale merchants whose politico-economic ideological stance in times of socioeconomic stability is determined by reflecting that of a haute ("high") bourgeoisie, with which the petite bourgeoisie seeks to identify itself and whose bourgeois morality it strives to imitate.

Edmondo Rossoni Italian politician

Edmondo Rossoni was a revolutionary syndicalist leader and an Italian fascist politician who became involved in the Fascist syndicate movement during Benito Mussolini's regime.

The history of Fascist ideology is long and involves many sources. Fascists took inspiration from sources as ancient as the Spartans for their focus on national purity and their emphasis on rule by an elite minority. Fascism has also been connected to the ideals of Plato, though there are key differences between the two. Fascism styled itself as the ideological successor to Rome, particularly the Roman Empire. The Enlightenment-era concept of a "high and noble" Aryan culture as opposed to a "parasitic" Semitic culture was core to Nazi racial views. From the same era, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's view on the absolute authority of the state also strongly influenced Fascist thinking. The French Revolution was a major influence insofar as the Nazis saw themselves as fighting back against many of the ideas which it brought to prominence, especially liberalism, liberal democracy and racial equality, whereas on the other hand Fascism drew heavily on the revolutionary ideal of nationalism. Common themes among fascist movements include; nationalism, hierarchy and elitism, militarism, quasi-religion, masculinity and voluntarism. Other aspects of fascism such as its "myth of decadence", anti‐egalitarianism and totalitarianism can be seen to originate from these ideas. These fundamental aspects however, can be attributed to a concept known as "Palingenetic ultranationalism", a theory proposed by Roger Griffin, that fascism is essentially populist ultranationalism sacralized through the myth of national rebirth and regeneration.

What constitutes a definition of fascism and fascist governments has been a complicated and highly disputed subject concerning the exact nature of fascism and its core tenets debated amongst historians, political scientists, and other scholars since Benito Mussolini first used the term in 1915.

The model of masculinity under fascist Italy was an idealized version of masculinity prescribed by dictator Benito Mussolini during his reign as fascist dictator of Italy from 1925-1943. This model of masculinity, grounded in anti-modernism and traditional gender roles, was intended to help create a New Italian citizen in a budding New Italy.

Marxian class theory asserts that an individual’s position within a class hierarchy is determined by his or her role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position. A class is those who share common economic interests, are conscious of those interests, and engage in collective action which advances those interests. Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.

Marxs theory of the state

Karl Marx's ideas about the state can be divided into three subject areas: pre-capitalist states, states in the capitalist era, and the state in post-capitalist society. Overlaying this is the fact that his own ideas about the state changed as he grew older, differing in his early pre-communist phase, the "young Marx" phase which predates the unsuccessful 1848 uprisings in Europe, and in his mature, more nuanced work.

Corporatism political doctrine

Corporatism is a political ideology which advocates the organization of society by corporate groups, such as agricultural, labour, military, scientific, or guild associations on the basis of their common interests. The idea is that when each group performs its designated function, society will function harmoniously — like a human body (corpus) from which its name derives.

<i>Prison Notebooks</i> book series

The Prison Notebooks were a series of essays written by the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was imprisoned by the Italian Fascist regime in 1926. The notebooks were written between 1929 and 1935, when Gramsci was released from prison on grounds of ill-health. He died in April 1937.

Sorelianism is advocacy for or support of the ideology and thinking of French revolutionary syndicalist Georges Sorel. Sorelians oppose bourgeois democracy, the developments of the 18th century, the secular spirit, and the French Revolution, while supporting classical tradition. A revisionist of Marxism, Sorel believed that the victory of the proletariat in class struggle could be achieved only through the power of myth and a general strike. To Sorel, the aftermath of class conflict would involve rejuvenation of both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

Bourgeois nation was a term coined by adherents of fascism. Fascism views a nation led by standard bourgeois culture as being associated with unfit sedentary lifestyle, individualism, plutocracy, and economic exploitation of proletarian people and proletarian nations, that fascism views as inconsistent with virile nationhood.

Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations". Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.

Fascist syndicalism was a trade syndicate movement that rose out of the pre-World War II provenance of the revolutionary syndicalism movement led mostly by Edmondo Rossoni, Sergio Panunzio, A. O. Olivetti, Michele Bianchi, Alceste De Ambris, Paolo Orano, Massimo Rocca, and Guido Pighetti, under the influence of Georges Sorel, who was considered the “‘metaphysician’ of syndicalism.” The Fascist Syndicalists differed from other branches of syndicalism in that they generally favored class struggle, worker-controlled factories and hostility to industrialists, which lead historians to portray them as “leftist fascist idealists” who “differed radically from right fascists.” Generally considered one of the more radical Fascist syndicalists in Italy, Rossoni was the “leading exponent of fascist syndicalism.”, and sought to infuse nationalism with “class struggle.”

Fascist Italy (1922–1943)

Fascist Italy is the era of National Fascist Party government from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as head of government of the Kingdom of Italy. The fascists imposed totalitarian rule and crushed political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values and a rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church. According to Payne (1996), "[the] Fascist government passed through several relatively distinct phases". The first phase (1923–1925) was nominally a continuation of the parliamentary system, albeit with a "legally-organized executive dictatorship". Then came the second phase, "the construction of the Fascist dictatorship proper, from 1925 to 1929". The third phase, with less activism, was 1929 to 1934. The fourth phase, 1935–1940, was characterized by an aggressive foreign policy: war against Ethiopia, which was launched from Eritrea and Somaliland; confrontations with the League of Nations, leading to sanctions; growing economic autarky; and the signing of the Pact of Steel. The war itself (1940–1943) was the fifth phase with its disasters and defeats, while the rump Salò Government under German control was the final stage (1943–1945).

References

Notes

  1. "bourgeoisie Facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about bourgeoisie". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  2. Bourgeois Society
  3. Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy',' pages 83–84, 134
  4. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology C. T. Onions, Editor (1995) p. 110.
  5. Oxford English Reference Dictionary Second Edition (1996) p. 196.
  6. Dictionary of Historical Terms, Chris Cook, Editor (1983), p. 267.
  7. 1 2 "Bourgeoisie", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition. (1994) p. 0000.
  8. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia Third Edition (1987) p. 118, p. 759.
  9. 1 2 Molière, ed. Warren 1899
  10. The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850, Works of Karl Marx, 1850
  11. A Dictionary of Marxist Thought, T.B. Bottomore, p. 272
  12. Béatrix Le Wita, J. A. Underwood (1994-06-16). French Bourgeois Culture. ISBN   9780521466264.
  13. "the petite bourgeoisie". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  14. David Nicholls. Adolf Hitler: A Biographical Companion. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO, 2000. p. 245.
  15. 1 2 Burleigh, Michael. The Third Reich: A New History, New York, USA: Hill and Wang, 2000. p. 77.
  16. David Nicholls. Adolf Hitler: A Biographical Companion. Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. pp. 159–160.
  17. Adolf Hitler, Max Domarus. The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary. pp. 171, 172–173.
  18. 1 2 3 Overy, R.J., The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004. p. 399
  19. Overy, R.J., The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004. p. 230.
  20. Kritika: explorations in Russian and Eurasian history, Volume 7, Issue 4. Slavica Publishers, 2006. Pp. 922.
  21. 1 2 3 Bellassai, Sandro (2005) "The Masculine Mystique: Anti-Modernism and Virility in Fascist Italy", Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 3, pp. 314–335.
  22. Marino, Giuseppe Carlo (1983) L'autarchia della cultura. Intellettuali e fascismo negli anni trenta, Roma: Editori Riuniti.
  23. 1 2 Paravese, Roberto (1939) "Bonifica antiborghese", in Edgardo Sulis (ed.), Processo alla borghesia, Roma: Edizioni Roma, pp. 51–70.
  24. Émile Zola, Le Rougon-Macquart (1871–1893).
  25. 1 2 Walter Benjamin, The Halles Project.
  26. Gilbert, Dennis (1998). The American Class Structure. New York: Wadsworth Publishing. 0-534-50520-1.
  27. Williams, Brian; Stacey C. Sawyer; Carl M. Wahlstrom (2005). Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships. Boston, MA: Pearson. 0-205-36674-0.
  28. Weber, Max (1927). General economic history. UK: London: Allen & Unwin. 1306359007.
  29. Howard Zinn. A People's History of the United States (1980)
  30. Sven Beckert "Propertied of Different Kind: Bourgeoisie and Lower Middle Class in the Nineteenth-Century United States" in The Middling Sorts: Explorations in the History of the American Middle Class (2001) Burton J. Bledstein and Robert D. Johnston, Eds. (2001)
  31. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia Third Edition (1987) p. 118, p. 512.
  32. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia Third Edition (1987) p. 118, p. 137.
  33. Charles Neider, The Stature of Thomas Mann (1968)
  34. Wolfgang Beutin, A history of German Literature: From the Beginnings to the Present Day (1993) Routledge, 1993, ISBN   0-415-06034-6, p. 433.
  35. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia Third Edition (1987) p. 65.
  36. see this review by Roger Ebert
  37. Kinder (ed.) 1999

Further reading